Nooksack/Samish Stock Assessment Biologist - Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2 - Permanent - *04834-24 description image

Nooksack/Samish Stock Assessment Biologist – Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2 – Permanent – *04834-24

Salary: $4,282.00 – $5,756.00 Monthly
Location: Whatcom County – Bellingham, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Job Number: 2024-04834
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Opening Date: 04/17/2024
Closing Date: 04/29/2024 11:59 PM Pacific
Category: Environmental Services / Parks and Beaches / Parks and Recreation / Natural Resources / Wetlands / Forestry / Research / Sciences / Green-Collar/Environmental / Wildlife / Geographic Information Systems



Fish Program
Bellingham, Washington – Whatcom County

 Play a key role in conducting biological studies focused on the evaluation and monitoring of anadromous salmonid stocks within the Nooksack and Samish River basins, and North Sound independent tributaries. 

Your responsibilities will encompass data collection, organization, and analysis used for developing escapement estimates, preseason forecasts, and the monitoring of sport fisheries. 

Nooksack/Samish Stock Assessment Biologist - Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2 - Permanent - *04834-24 description image

Rafts on the riverbank – Credit: WDFW 

Picture yourself,

Collecting, entering, organizing, proofing, and performing quality control/assurance of Nooksack and Samish spawning ground data, biological data, and GPS data.

This is an opportunity,

To make contributions that will directly impact the assessment of progress towards critical regional salmon and steelhead recovery objectives.

The optimal applicants, 

Will have geographic knowledge of the independent tributaries of Whatcom County, Nooksack River and Samish River basins.

We are seeking a candidate, 

Who models WDFW values: Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).




Here is what you will be doing, 

Data management and analysis of spawning ground survey data, including biological data and GIS records and providing support to the Nooksack/Samish Area Fish Biologist and Nooksack/Samish District Biologist in data analysis, review, and reporting: 

  • Collect, organize, and analyze geographic spatial (GPS/GIS) data from WDFW and tribal agencies including redd location and other pertinent location data. Produce maps specific to resource manager data needs and requests. 
  • Summarize and report draft escapement estimates and provide technical recommendations to senior biologists for the Nooksack River, Samish River, and North Puget Sound independent drainages. 
  • Format current and historical field data for upload by WDFW data systems staff into the WDFW statewide spawning ground database. 
  • Assist senior biologists with data requests. 
  • Access and organize historic data for specific species, locations, and timeframes.


Organize, plan, and conduct field surveys and biological studies: 

  • Plan, direct, and participate in stock assessment surveys on the Nooksack, Samish, and North Puget Sound independent drainages.
  • Schedule fieldwork and allocate staff time to collect data following defined methodologies.
  • Supervise, hire, train, and evaluate Nooksack/Samish stock assessment field staff.


Inventory management and purchasing.:

  • Responsible for equipment purchasing for the District 14 North Stock Assessment field crew and field office.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Primarily fieldwork that is performed alone in remote areas. Work will also be in an office setting in District and field locations.  
    • Will work in rivers and streams, walk up to 10 miles in rugged terrain, in and out of the water, and float in rafts or boats (motorized and non-motorized) in variable flow conditions and weather. 
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations. 
    • Frequently hike over rough terrain six (6) hours per day up to 10 miles, with a 10-15 pound field pack in a variety of weather conditions (approximately 2 – 4 days per week). 
    • Long periods of standing, bending, squatting, kneeling, repetitive movements of hands, walking, and climbing up and down steep and slippery riverbanks and rocky slopes. 
    • Sample decomposing salmon carcasses in inclement weather, and lifting (up to 70lbs.) 3 – 4 days per week, for approximately 3 months out of the year. 
    • Exposure to fish blood and slime, slippery surfaces, stinging and biting insects, pollen, stinging and thorny plants, dust, and potential encounters of wildlife such as bears and cougars. 
  • Schedule:
    • Typically, Monday – Friday, 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., 40 hours per week. 
    • Weekend, evening and overtime work will be occasional.   
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Requires county-wide and vicinity travel.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • 4-wheel drive pickup, pontoon raft, personal computer, GPS, coded wire tag (CWT) detection wand, waders, wading boots, sampling pack including forceps, scissors, knives, and electroshocker.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Will interact with WDFW personnel, biologists, technicians, public and private landowners, local government, co-managers, anglers, boaters, hikers and WDFW enforcement personnel.





  • A Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science. 


  • One (1) year of professional experience in one (1) or more of the following: Fish management or fish research. Wildlife management or wildlife research. Habitat management or habitat research. 


  • Equivalent education/experience.

Please Note: 

  • Closely related qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-by-year basis.
  • A Master’s degree or Ph.D, degree in the applicable science will substitute for one (1) year of the required experience. 


  • Valid Driver’s License.


In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following:

Experience with:

  • Three (3) years of professional experience with salmonid spawning ground surveys that included Chinook and Steelhead.
  • Three (3) years of experience operating drift boats, rafts and/or pontoons (catarafts) on rivers in Class 3 rapids.
  • Escapement methodologies used for estimating salmon and steelhead abundance.
  • Supervising staff, coordinating, and scheduling.
  • Handheld GPS data collection, data upload and visualization.

Skill/Ability to:

  • Identify adult and juvenile Pacific salmonids in freshwater phase. Must be able to identify and distinguish salmonid redds.
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Access, etc).
  • Proficiency in using ArcGIS to create maps and geodatabase management.
  • Function independently and efficiently as well as part of a team, accept supervisory authority, record data rapidly and accurately, pay great attention to detail, recall instructions, write legibly, and communicate effectively orally and in writing. 

Knowledge of: 

  • Salmon and steelhead life histories and freshwater habitat needs.
  • Basic statistical techniques.
  • Geographic knowledge of the independent tributaries of Whatcom County, Nooksack River and Samish River basins.


Supplemental Information


Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.


Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.


In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 


All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:


Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

WDFW employees may be eligible for the following: Benefits

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types. 

Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA),  and an Employee Assistance Program.


This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals. - Say yes to those who served.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer


To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in



To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at  
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in


Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 


As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.  Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.

Everyone Belongs Outdoors Flag WDFW.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity.   Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  

Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email, or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-833-6388.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or

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